Hancock Air National Guard Base, NY --
HANCOCK FIELD AIR NATIONAL BASE, N.Y. -- Members of the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Security Forces Squadron, part of the 174th Attack Wing conducted active shooter/Close Quarters Battle (CQB) training Dec. 5, 2021 at a shut-down hotel near the Syracuse International Airport. CQB presents multiple techniques, tactics, and procedures and allows the unit to develop skills that ensure readiness.
28 Security Forces airmen participated in practicing making entries, moving tactically throughout the building, clearing the building of any hostels, and learning how to take over the building.
“This training will ensure that all of our airmen know how to tactically take a building over,” said Tech. Sgt. William Mclennan, NCOIC of training, Security Forces squadron. “This could happen in an active shooter event or expeditionary.”
McLennan explained that this training event was valuable in that it gave many of the newer airmen more experience on how to deal with an active shooter event should it happen at home or while deployed.
Though it would be highly unlikely for the 174th SFS to respond to an active shooter at a school, the practice on a different floor plan is invaluable. The skills that were worked on at the hotel can be applied to buildings both on base and off.
Airmen have never trained at this location before so they will not know the floorplan ahead of time. This provides a more realistic experience. Active shooter response is a significant training task for the unit and is trained several times throughout the year.
“When put into this situation as training or the real thing, going into unfamiliar territory can be unsettling,” said Capt. Devin Will, the 174th Security Forces Squadron Commander. “So our airmen have to rely on the training and tactics they have been taught.”
Airmen were split up into teams of four and went through a series of workouts such as sprinting, push-ups, and squatting to get their heart-rate up to how it would be in real life.
“Our goal in these exercises is to become comfortable with the uncomfortable,” said Will. “Exercises such as this allow our squadron to focus on teamwork in simulated high stress situations while improving our readiness for when we deploy.”
While clearing the buildings, airmen also had to render first aid care as part of Tactical Combat Casualty Care training.
“It’s definitely one of the most important trainings we do,” said Senior Amn. Colin Wheeler, 174th Attack Wing Security Forces. “It gives the airmen confidence to go into a situation where there is someone hurt.”